Monday, September 5, 2011

These Are Anxious Days

“These are anxious days. The battle is on for the minds and hearts of our young. Enemies of religion and morality are trying to lure our children away from God …their parents…decent living. Unfortunately, it is not enough for conscientious parents merely to forbid objectionable comics, sordid magazines, immoral movies and TV shows. Priests, teachers and psychologists all agree that we must replace these dangerous pastimes with something wholesome – and every bit as interesting to alert young minds.”  The source:

A) Sarah Palin to Tea Party activists, Des Moines, Iowa, August 2011
B) Pat Buchannan, speech during the 2000 Presidential primary, Concord, NH
C) Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, speech to the Virginia State Senate, Fall 1984

Give up? To be fair, I should have listed “none of the above.” The narrative comes from a rear dust jacket pitch for reasons to subscribe to the Catholic Youth Book Club, 1957. Hmmm, not much changes with human nature, heh? Same concerns, different decades.

The book this text came from is one I picked up for $.25 at our local swap shop: Giants of the Faith, by John A. O’Brien. The book profiles five “giants” including St. Paul and St. Augustine – the ones I was most interested in. How is the apostle Paul portrayed? And I had to admit that even though I grew up Catholic up to the age of 20, I knew relatively little about Augustine and most of his writings. I’ll have more to say about Augustine in a future post, but even part way through that chapter I’ve certainly learned that the dust jacket scenario above could have been written with Augustine’s early years in mind!

1 comment:

Michael said...

I've often wondered if they thought Augustine was too advanced for the average Catholic teenager. I wandered away from the Catholic Church at about the same age and also know little about him. However, friends that attended Catholic college got some significant exposure to him.